The Renders ~ Hi-Res
Date: Sunday, December 02, 2007 @ 02:03:07 UTC

Artist: The Renders

CD: Hi-Res

Home: Glendale, California

Style: Indie Rock

Quote: "These girls take three chords, mix them with intelligent lyrics, crank up the reverb and 'render' a good jolt of high-energy indie rock."

By Kenny Hart

Whether you consider this music flavored with 60s pop, 70s punk, and maybe a touch of new-wave, one thing's for sure: The Renders have come up with a refreshingly smart combination that draws from the best influences of the past. Reminiscent of the Go Go's or The Bangles (though don't let that comparison influence you too much), these girls take three chords, mix them with intelligent lyrics, crank up the reverb, and "render" a good jolt of high-energy indie rock. Their five-song EP, Hi-Res, which they recorded in lead singer Siuan McGahan's bedroom as a demo, got so much attention that they decided to release it. I'm glad they did.

Their press kit says that in defiance of the typical stereotype of an all-girl novelty act, The Renders are all about making something fresh and interesting musically. They've certainly accomplished that. For example, you can forget songs about boys and break-ups - typical fare, and much overworked in this genre. These self-professed music geeks have much better things to write about but with no less angst. Case in point: the sassy "Cheerleader In Vintage," my pick hit. Get a load of these lyrics:

Cheerleader in vintage,
blonde hair, pink lipstick
Got your dress at the thrift store,
you think his edge is something he wore
you're playin dress-up, but playin safe
when you can lose it at the end of the day
just goes to show, what you don't know
you're just a bimbo in second hand clothes.

Great social commentary. And then there's "Granny Was A Gunrunner" (which must refer to Irish revolutionary tactics from some era, perhaps the not-so-distant past, considering that Siuan McGahan is a pretty Irish name):

Granny was a gunrunner, her cause her country's liberty
she had a biscuit box and motorbike, oh oh
Granny was a gunrunner, her aim to see her country free
answering the countess' cry
to grab your guns girls, get on out and fight.

Again, good stuff, but I have a complaint: the vocals are buried under the music. I had to go to their web site to look at the lyrics and make sure I was hearing them right. These girls have a message, and they should be proud to broadcast it to the world. Re-do the mix and bring those vocals up front. Still, for a home-produced EP, it's very good quality. Oh, one other thing: don't expect a lot of fancy guitar riffs and lead guitar work - they keep things short and sweet without a lot of solos, just good solid power chords and haunting harmonies.

I'll leave you with the chorus of "Rewind." These sentiments are universal:

Wishin I could rewind time
Wishin I stayed calm, now I'm
wishin I knew what to say
Instead of drivin' you away.

We can only hope to hear more out of these talented ladies in the future. I'm betting we will.

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